ACLS Fellows

The ACLS Fellowship Program awards fellowships to individual scholars working in the humanities and related social sciences. Institutions and individuals have contributed to the ACLS Fellowship Program and its endowment, including The Andrew W. Mellon Foundation, the Ford Foundation, the Rockefeller Foundation, the National Endowment for the Humanities, the William and Flora Hewlett Foundation, the Arcadia Charitable Trust, the Council's college and university Associates, and former Fellows and individual friends of ACLS.

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Watch "Emerging Themes and Methods of Research: A Discussion with ACLS Fellows," an annual meeting session featuring recent ACLS fellows. 

Eugenia Afinoguénova
Eugenia Afinoguénova  |  Abstract
Bringing peasants and provincials into the discussion of nineteenth- and early twentieth-century art museums, this project argues that domestic visitors loved the Prado Museum because they experienced it as a continuation of the Prado Promenade, the center of socialization for old and new Madrilenians as well as visitors to Madrid. The Prado, Spain’s most important art institution, was more than a venue for connoisseurs to enjoy the collections of Spanish monarchs. Though founded for this purpose, it became an arena for blending upper-class sensibilities with the leisure practices of the middle and lower classes hailing from Spain’s urban and rural areas. Looking at museum-going as a pastime related to the world of urban fairs, the monograph connects two lines of research that currently do not “talk” to each other: 1) the effects of political and economic modernization on old-regime capitals such as Madrid; and 2) the emergence of modern leisure.

Associate Professor, Foreign Languages and Literatures, Marquette University  -  Spaniards at the Prado: A Leisure Culture History, 1819-1939

Robert A. Kaster
Robert A. Kaster  |  Abstract
This project comprises a new critical edition of Suetonius’s “Lives of the Caesars” (De vita Caesarum), which preserves biographies of the first 12 Roman emperors, to be published by Oxford University Press in its Oxford Classical Texts; the book will also include a revised version of Kaster’s edition of Suetonius’s “On Teachers of Grammar and Rhetoric” (De grammaticis et rhetoribus), published by Oxford in 1995. No new edition of the “Caesars” has been attempted in over a century: this work will replace the standard edition by taking account for the first time of all the medieval manuscripts, by applying more up-to-date critical procedures and standards, by incorporating a complete accounting of sources and parallel passages, and by benefiting from advances in our understanding of Roman history and historiography.

Professor, Classics, Princeton University  -  A New Critical Edition of Suetonius’s “Lives of the Caesars”

Tanya Agathocleous
Tanya Agathocleous  |  Abstract
This project argues that the criminalization of “disaffection” in Indian print culture by British colonial courts helps to account for the staging of colonialism as an affective relationship and the nature of the publics and counterpublics discernible within colonial print culture. It traces the ways in which journalistic and literary writing of the late nineteenth and early twentieth century experimented with rhetoric and genre in an effort to stage critical interventions that either circumvented, subverted, or accentuated the association of critique with disaffection.

Associate Professor, English, City University of New York, Hunter College  -  Circuits of Disaffection: Criticism, Dissent, and Affect in the Colonial Public Sphere

Marion Holmes Katz
Marion Holmes Katz  |  Abstract
Marital law is a central area in which Muslim jurists have articulated their vision of gender and the relationship between the sexes, and the roles of husbands and wives continue to be vigorously debated by Muslims, often enlisting the authority of scholars of the medieval period. This study examines a significant shift that took place in the fourteenth century C.E., when some prominent jurists began to emphasize an inherent wifely duty to perform domestic labor (previously most often assumed to be performed by servants provided by the husband). Housework partially displaced sexual submission as an expression of proper gender hierarchy even for elite women, showing the far earlier social and historical roots of Islamic ideals of domesticity that have usually been associated with the colonial period.

Associate Professor, Middle Eastern and Islamic Studies, New York University  -  Re-Configuring Muslim Wifehood in the Fourteenth Century

Fredrik Albritton Jonsson
Fredrik Albritton Jonsson  |  Abstract
Paul Crutzen has proposed that anthropogenic climate change marks the advent of a new epoch in geological time – the Anthropocene. This crisis calls into question the viability of modern consumer society with its promise of indefinite economic growth. It also forces us to confront deep time scales in politics as our present actions threaten to unleash massive long-term changes. This project investigates the historical origins of the Anthropocene in Britain’s industrial revolution. It argues that several major features of this crisis can be traced back to the late eighteenth and nineteenth century when the British public began to debate the political and environmental implications of the new mineral energy economy.

Assistant Professor, History, University of Chicago  -  The British Origins of the Anthropocene: Coal, Climate, and Deep Time, 1784-1884

Melissa R. Kerin
Melissa R. Kerin  |  Abstract
The aim of this project is to complicate the idea of “the” Tibetan Buddhist shrine—a structure that is often oversimplified and/or romanticized in both scholarly and popular imagination—by turning attention to its complexity as a monument, which manifests in a wide range of forms depending on its geography. The research looks at shrines in three different regions on three analytical and distinct levels, aimed at better assessing the relationships between object, production/circulation, and ritual agent. By so doing, this interdisciplinary, diachronic, and transregional project demonstrates that shrines operate within complex systems of meaning production responsive to and reflective of multiple socio-religious environs of Tibetan Buddhist cultures.

Assistant Professor, Art and Art History, Washington and Lee University  -  Materiality of Tibetan Buddhist Shrines: Devotional Objects and Ritual Agents in Tibet, Western Himalaya, and US

Jean M. Allman
Jean M. Allman  |  Abstract
Kwame Nkrumah, the leader of Ghana’s independence struggle and its first Prime Minister and President, was a major theorist of pan-Africanism and arguably the most important leader of what was known in the 1960s as the “African Revolution.” During his rule, Nkrumah attracted around him a small cohort of expatriate women, who served in various official capacities, but also became his intimate confidantes and remained so, even after the coup that ended his rule. This trusted cohort has shaped in profound ways how Nkrumah is remembered today and what evidence historians have at hand to reconstruct not only the conflicted history of Ghana’s first Republic, but the story of the ill-fated African Revolution. Based on private papers and correspondence, newspapers, and government documents, this project explores the role of the intimate and the affective in the consolidation, the disruption, and ultimately the historical reconstruction of state power in post-colonial Africa.

Professor, History, Washington University in St. Louis  -  An Intimate History of the African Revolution: Kwame Nkrumah and the Women in Question

Suk-Young Kim
Suk-Young Kim  |  Abstract
This project investigates the rapid rise of Korean popular music (K-pop) in relation to the equally meteoric ascent of digital culture—a phenomenon mostly championed by the widespread distribution of internet and mobile gadgets. Close reading of concurrent developments in K-pop and South Korean digital culture leads to layers of paradoxes: for most South Koreans, the market successes of K-pop and technology points to soft power's triumph over historical traumas, but for critics it unveils the alarming power of surveillance through entertainment. By looking into how K-pop artists and high-tech companies collaborate to advance their products in the global market place, this project illuminates how neoliberal impulses and the lingering legacies of the Cold War coexist in today’s South Korea.

ACLS/NEH International and Area Studies Fellow
Professor, Theater and Dance, University of California, Santa Barbara  -  Between National Trauma and Global Entertainment: Historicizing the Rise of Korean Pop Music and Digital Media

Beth L. Bailey
Beth L. Bailey  |  Abstract
This project, about the US Army’s struggles with the problem of race during the Vietnam era and the following decade, explains how a large and powerful institution, under great pressure and subject to great scrutiny, tried to solve a key problem of the age. It moves from two key premises: the history of US race relations cannot be understood without incorporating the role of the military; and how the army rebuilt itself post-Vietnam cannot be understood without understanding the role of race. Showing how diverse actors fought to shape military responses to racial crisis, this project analyzes the origins of racial turbulence in a domestic and international context and focuses on military justice and incarceration, "sensitivity training," cultural nationalism and consumer goods, and affirmative action.

ACLS Oscar Handlin Fellow
Professor, History, Temple University  -  The US Army and the Problem of Race, 1965-1985

Marwan M. Kraidy
Marwan M. Kraidy  |  Abstract
This study explores cultural production in the Arab uprisings, concluding that the human body is the indispensable revolutionary medium. Relying on primary Arabic-language audio-visual, ethnographic, textual and visual sources, the book focuses on creative activists, practices and styles, and uses a historical-comparative approach across nations, periods, and media. In Tunisia, Egypt, Bahrain, and Syria, activists have deployed a rich array of media in fierce propaganda wars against murderous dictators. Mining the past for resonant symbols, creative insurgents execute daring physical performances, catchy slogans, memorable graffiti, and witty videos. At once whimsical, grim and heroic, insurgent art and culture promote cross-border solidarities and shape revolutionary political identities. Revolutionary expressive culture offers insight into the nature of power and resistance and opens a vista onto the future of Arab culture and politics.

ACLS/NEH International and Area Studies Fellow
Professor, Annenberg School for Communication, University of Pennsylvania  -  Creative Insurgency: Arab Dissent in an Age of Revolution

Robert Bird
Robert Bird  |  Abstract
Against the standard view of socialist realism as anti-art and mere propaganda, this project argues that this aesthetic mode – dominant in the USSR between 1932 and 1991 – marked the institutionalization of aesthetics as a privileged site of socialist construction. Far from being a crude imposition of ideology on culture, in its formative years, 1932-1937, Soviet cultural authorities relied on artists and their critics to produce socialist realism by transforming their artistic practices in discourse with ideological and social imperatives. This project takes seriously the forms, mediums and materials that Soviet artists and their critics employed in order to make socialism conceivable, visible, and palpable. Through a coherent set of model-studies of concrete aesthetic problems faced by major artists and critics, mainly in literature and film, from Andrei Platonov and Boris Pasternak to Aleksandr Dovzhenko and Aleksandr Medvedkin, it shows how socialist realism worked, or failed to work, as theory and artistic practice.

Associate Professor, Slavic Languages and Literatures, and Cinema and Media Studies, University of Chicago  -  The Stalin Consensus: Aesthetics in an Age of Terror

Katherine M. Kuenzli
Katherine M. Kuenzli  |  Abstract
This book examines the work of Henry van de Velde, a painter, designer and architect who worked in Belgium, France, and Germany. In the decades before World War I, van de Velde developed an abstract formal vocabulary that proved seminal to both painterly modernism and an activist, engaged avant-garde. Expanding modernist painterly aesthetics beyond Paris and beyond painting, he designed museums, schools, private homes, and theater buildings, and he worked with manufacturers to render their products more competitive in international markets. Fine and applied art schools that he designed and directed became sites of pedagogical reforms that helped shape the Bauhaus, which opened in 1919 in van de Velde's school buildings. This study examines individual projects in light of modernist debates surrounding individualism, consumer culture, national identity, and the Total Work of Art.

Associate Professor, Art and Art History, Wesleyan University  -  Designing Modernism: Henry van de Velde from Neo-Impressionism to the Bauhaus

Monica Black
Monica Black  |  Abstract
After WWII, West German society struggled to rebuild not only from Nazism, but from moral collapse and its consequences for knowledge, truth, and authority. This study examines a series of nearly forgotten episodes from the 1940s and 50s: the dramatic rise to fame of a faith healer/exorcist; apparitions of the Virgin Mary; the proliferation of accusations of witchcraft; and apocalyptic prophecies. The study interprets these episodes not as anomalies in an otherwise “disenchanted” modern Europe, but instead as moments in which another, subterranean reality briefly became visible—one with its own claims to truth, goodness, and health. Through an examination of the struggle for moral truth in a moment of profound disillusion, the study offers to reconceive fundamentally how we understand perhaps the paradigmatic case of a post-genocidal society.

Associate Professor, History, University of Tennessee, Knoxville  -  Evil after Nazism: Miracles, Medicine, and Moral Authority in West Germany

Dietrich Christian Lammerts
Dietrich Christian Lammerts  |  Abstract
Southeast Asia is the only region of the Buddhist world that saw the development of a codified religious law that claimed jurisdiction over both laypersons and monks. As the first book-length study to examine this distinctive legal genre known as dhammasattha (“treatise on law”), this project offers a new account of the development of Buddhist law in early Southeast Asia and demonstrates the centrality of law as a Buddhist discipline in later Burmese history. Based on manuscript and epigraphic sources, it reveals significant shifts in juridical discourse and practice between the seventeenth and nineteenth centuries C.E., which call into question arguments for the uniformity of pre-colonial Buddhist legal culture and the decisive transformative impact of colonial modernity on Burmese law and Buddhism.

Assistant Professor, Religion, Rutgers University-New Brunswick  -  Buddhism and Written Law: A History of Dhammasattha Literature in Burma

Jaimie Bleck  |  Abstract
This book project explores citizens’ attitudes toward three policy problems central to Mali’s democratic recovery: democracy and governance, allegiance to the state and other subgroups, and social cohesion. It relies on ethnographic and focus-group methodology to collect data on approximately 80 diverse “grinw,” political discussion groups found across the country. The research design draws on an important lesson emerging from the Malian crisis. Without exploring citizen attitudes toward institutions, scholars of democracy risk underestimating the fragility undergirding procedural democratic façades.

Assistant Professor, Political Science, University of Notre Dame  -  Listening to Grinw: Everyday Political Discussions about Mali's Democratic Recovery

Bronwyn A. Leebaw
Bronwyn A. Leebaw  |  Abstract
How have human rights and transitional justice institutions documented efforts to resist the atrocities that they investigate? Why has the theme of resistance been relegated to the margins of debates on “dealing with the past”? Under the influence of the human rights movement, efforts to reckon with past abuses are generally framed in relation to the categories of victim and perpetrator. This project examines how such institutions have documented, judged, and avoided stories of those who engaged in various forms of resistance against such abuses. It argues that attention to the theme of resistance exposes a paradox in the way that the human rights movement conceptualizes agency—one that has profound implications for ongoing efforts to pursue accountability and political reconciliation.

Associate Professor, Political Science, University of California, Riverside  -  A Trace of Hope: Human Rights, Atrocity, and the Memory of Resistance

John P. Bodel
John P. Bodel  |  Abstract
P. Ariès began his sweeping survey of western attitudes to death (L’Homme devant la mort, 1977) with the death of Roland (778 CE), on the premise that the attitude depicted there represented a tradition that went back unchanged “to the dawn of history.” This study challenges that view by situating Roman mortuary behavior more securely than before within the long history of western attitudes to death. It argues that the basic institutional structures of the Roman funeral provided a continuity of cultural practice that promoted social and psychic stability in the Roman response to death across widely differing historical periods. Finally it attempts to link-up the two “halves” of the cultural history of death in the west by identifying which functions and forms of Roman funerals survived antiquity and which ones were lost or transformed.

Professor, Classics, Brown University  -  The Ancient Roman Funeral

Annette Damayanti Lienau
Annette Damayanti Lienau  |  Abstract
"Arabic and its Linguistic Rivals" engages with the political and cultural legacy of Arabic as a sacralized language and script, underscoring its changing symbolic value across the twentieth century in West African, Southeast Asian, and Middle Eastern contexts. The project considers the extent to which a common linguistic situation—the historical use of the Arabic script for transcribing vernacular languages and the preservation of the Arabic language as a sacred, religious medium—has influenced the evolution of literatures in three national cases with distinct imperial legacies: Senegal, controlled by the French, Indonesia by the Dutch, and Egypt by the Ottoman Empire and subsequently by the British Empire.

Assistant Professor, Languages, Literatures, and Cultures, University of Massachusetts Amherst  -  Arabic and its Linguistic Rivals: Sacred Language and the Crisis of Post-Colonial Literature

Michael S. Brownstein
Michael S. Brownstein  |  Abstract
Heroes are often admired for their ability to act without having “one thought too many,” as Bernard Williams put it. Likewise, the unhesitating decisions of masterful athletes and artists are part of their fascination. Examples like these make clear that spontaneity can represent an ideal. However, recent literature in empirical psychology has shown how vulnerable our spontaneous inclinations can be to bias, short-sightedness, and irrationality. How can we make sense of these different roles that spontaneity plays in our lives? By integrating dual process theories of the mind and research on implicit social cognition with philosophical theorizing, this project offers a unified account of spontaneity in mind, action, and ethics.

Assistant Professor, Humanities, New Jersey Institute of Technology  -  On the Virtues and Vices of Spontaneity

Tabea A. Linhard
Tabea A. Linhard  |  Abstract
Different forms of displacement shaped cultural production emerging from the Spanish Civil War and World War II in relation to the paths to safety that spread across the Mediterranean and the Atlantic. This project looks at a number of European writers whose itineraries involved Spain, Mexico, and North Africa, and that up until this point have not been discussed in relation to one another. The study reveals that the migratory movements that resulted from the Spanish Civil War and World War II led to new patterns of exclusion and inclusion, forms of cultural memory, and intellectual affinities, even in parts of the world considered to be marginal to the history of the conflicts.

Associate Professor, Romance Languages and Literatures, Washington University in St. Louis  -  Unexpected Routes: Exile, Migration, and Memory, 1931-1945

Ari Z. Bryen
Ari Z. Bryen  |  Abstract
This project combines documentary, literary, and legal sources to trace the rise of legal consciousness in the provinces of the Roman Empire and the effects of that consciousness on imperial governance in the first through fourth centuries. Provincial populations were politically invested in, and told stories about, the nature of imperial law. In these stories they re-imagined law not as a transcendent system or as mere imperatives, but as a practical activity of problem-solving in which imperial administrators ideally recognized local claims to right. In articulating these understandings before provincial governors and in their various public discourses, they set in motion institutional processes that contributed to the creation of a rule of law.

Assistant Professor, History, West Virginia University  -  Law and the Boundaries of Authority in the Roman World

Charlene Makley
Charlene Makley  |  Abstract
“The Politics of Presence” is based on long term fieldwork, 2002-2013, in the famous Tibetan valley of Rebgong, in China’s southeastern Qinghai province, seat of the Geluk sect Buddhist monastery of Rongwo, erstwhile rulers of the region. It is an ethnography of state-local relations among Tibetans marginalized under China's ‘Great Develop the West’ campaign and during the 2008 military crackdown on Tibetan unrest. The study brings anthropological approaches to states and development into dialogue with recent interdisciplinary debates about the very nature of human subjectivity and relations with nonhuman others (including deities). It draws on a linguistic anthropological approach to contested presence, one that takes deities seriously as interlocutors for Tibetans. The book thus challenges readers to grasp the unpredictable, even violent, interpersonal dynamics at the heart of development projects and provides unique insights for understanding the historical dynamics shaping ongoing tensions in the Sino-Tibetan frontier zone.

Associate Professor, Anthropology, Reed College  -  The Politics of Presence: State-Led Development, Personhood and Power among Tibetans in China

Ivano Caponigro
Ivano Caponigro  |  Abstract
Richard Montague (1930-1971) was a brilliant American logician and philosopher who, among other achievements, revolutionized our notion of language with an elegant "simple" theory of meaning that was a major breakthrough and started an entirely new subfield in linguistics and philosophy of language: formal semantics. Montague was also a man with a "complex" multi-faceted personality, sides of which were unknown even to some of the people who were close to him who found out about them after he was murdered at the age of 40. This project brings the whole Richard Montague into the light by investigating his intellectual contributions and personal life in order to write a biography that aims to be of interest not only for an academic audience but also for a broader group of readers.

Associate Professor, Linguistics, University of California, San Diego  -  Richard Montague: The Simplicity of Language, the Complexity of Life

James A. McHugh
James A. McHugh  |  Abstract
Alcohol has always been an ambiguous substance in India. Medieval texts present intoxicating drinks as forbidden, addictive, and impure. Yet, other sources describe alcohol as nourishing and arousing. This project examines the history of alcohol in early and medieval India, combining textual work with some ethno-archaeological work in India. There are few studies of alcohol in India, and no monograph on the topic. Much previous scholarship has focused on prohibitions, ignoring the flourishing drinking culture of early India. By contrast, this study highlights pre-modern Indian drinking culture; documents the array of beverages and drinking practices; analyzes theories of the religious, legal, medical, social, and aesthetic aspects of drinking, and presents these materials from a comparative and theoretical perspective.

Assistant Professor, Religion, University of Southern California  -  An Unholy Brew: Alcohol in Indian History and Religion

Heekyoung Cho
Heekyoung Cho  |  Abstract
Translation today is generally considered a lesser form of literary creation. It would sound implausible to us to include translations of foreign works into the canon of national literary histories. But the formative period of modern literature in East Asia offers us a different understanding of translation. Around the turn of the twentieth century, translation was considered a creative and authentic activity that stood alongside other forms of prose writing in both fiction and non-fiction. Through examination of Korean intellectuals’ translation of Russian prose through Japanese mediation, this project ultimately aims to reinstate translation as a practice that produces new meaning and generates change in society, and to rethink the way that modern literature developed in East Asia.

Assistant Professor, Asian Languages and Literature, University of Washington  -  Translation’s Forgotten History: Russian Literature, Japanese Mediation, and the Formation of Modern Korean Literature

Seth Moglen
Seth Moglen  |  Abstract
This project explores the enduring contradiction between egalitarianism and domination in American life through a formally inventive representation of one iconic city: Bethlehem, Pennsylvania. By tracing the long arc of the city’s development, from eighteenth-century founding to postindustrial present, this book uncovers the egalitarian aspirations of the people of Bethlehem over the city’s entire 270-year history, as well as the evolving structures of racial and gender hierarchy and economic exploitation that have constrained those aspirations. The book departs from familiar conventions of historical narrative by representing the development of the city in the form of a modernist historical mosaic. Composed of archivally researched and metaphorically resonant vignettes, the book charts the evolution of deep structures of power. A public humanities project written for a wide audience, it also makes available an archive of popular egalitarian feeling that may help to reinvigorate discussion about what equality has meant – and might yet mean – in the United States.

Associate Professor, English, Lehigh University  -  Bethlehem: American Utopia, American Tragedy

Suzannah Clark
Suzannah Clark  |  Abstract
This project examines one of the primary ambitions of music theorists. They sought to explain the foundational concepts of the tonal system using identical or perfectly symmetrical principles for both the major and minor modes. While a logical enterprise, such a construction never quite works out, leaving their systems with a “quirk” or adjustment somewhere along the way. The project focuses on five pivotal nineteenth-century music theorists from the German and French traditions in order to pinpoint how their quirks shaped nineteenth-century perceptions and conceptions of harmony in ways that are different from our own today. This historical reading of tonal theory offers the opportunity to recapture a distinctly nineteenth-century way of hearing music and explaining its meaning.

Professor, Music, Harvard University  -  Quirks in Tonality: Aspects in the History of Tonal Spaces

Richard A. Moran
Richard A. Moran  |  Abstract
Telling someone something is at once a form of self-expression and a social act; that is, not only an act that takes place in a social context but one requiring the joint participation of others. Speaking to another person is at once an effort to make oneself understood, to communicate some fact independent of oneself, and to engage in a social institution involving other people who must play their complementary roles. In this way, ordinary verbal communication is a form of intersubjective relation that is both social, epistemological, normative, and psychological. This project seeks a unified philosophical account of the interrelated dimensions of this fundamental form of human relationality, one that shows how one person’s verbal act can count as a reason for the person being addressed.

Professor, Philosophy, Harvard University  -  Speech as an Intersubjective Act

Deborah R. Coen
Deborah R. Coen  |  Abstract
“Dynamic Empire” is a critical history of naturalized concepts of circulation and scale in their relation to projects of empire. It argues that a new way of thinking about the relationship between the local and the global emerged in part from efforts to reimagine the space of the Habsburg Monarchy between 1848 and 1918. It shows both how Habsburg governance shaped scientific practice, and how scientific models shaped the imaginations of Habsburg subjects.

ACLS/New York Public Library Fellow
Associate Professor, History, Barnard College  -  Dynamic Empire: Climate and Circulation in Late Imperial Austria

William R. Newman
William R. Newman  |  Abstract
Despite two major monographs and a seemingly definitive biography, the alchemy of Isaac Newton remains poorly understood today. This situation is ripe for change, however, thanks to the fact that most of Newton’s “chymical” writings have recently been edited on line by the “Chymistry of Isaac Newton” project ( The current project will consist of research leading to a new book on Newton’s alchemy that will provide a radically new interpretation of his involvement in this subject. The approach will differ from that of previous scholars in that Newton’s experimental laboratory notebooks will form the “Ariadne’s thread” that will unlock his chaotic and extensive reading notes.

Professor, History and Philosophy of Science, Indiana University Bloomington  -  The Alchemy of Isaac Newton, A New Appraisal

Mary Jean Corbett
Mary Jean Corbett  |  Abstract
Drawing on her letters, diaries, and memoirs, this interdisciplinary study of the fiction and criticism of Virginia Woolf offers a new account of her multiply mediated outlook on her mid- and late-Victorian predecessors. Through biographical, literary, and cultural analysis as well as archival research, it reconstructs the varied networks in which members of her immediate and extended families participated, demonstrating the imbrication of these networks with those of earlier and later generations, including the Bloomsbury Group. Illuminating how Woolf’s point of view on the past changed over the course of her career, it explores the impact of her writing on modernist constructions of the late Victorians, while also situating the concerns and circumstances of her feminist elders as continuous with, rather than sharply separated from, Woolf’s own persistent preoccupations.

Professor, English, Miami University  -  Behind the Times: Virginia Woolf in Fin-de-Siècle Context

Thomas O'Donnell
Thomas O'Donnell  |  Abstract
This book project opens up a new line of inquiry into medieval literature in England in Latin, English, and French, based on the communal rhetoric of eleventh- and twelfth-century monastic authors. Monks and nuns acknowledged the reality of personal identities based on language, ethnicity, and politics, but they struggled to create an ideal “common life” (vita communis) that could contain and transcend such identities. Against the backdrop of the twelfth-century "discovery of the individual," they used collaborative books to imagine how a truly communal speech might be achieved in textual forms like prayer, song, compilation, and dialogue. “Theoretical Lives” draws on both original archival research and literary analysis to reframe critical debates around literary form and identity in high medieval literature in line with modern critiques of self, community, and social networks.

Assistant Professor, English, Fordham University  -  Theoretical Lives: Identity-Critique and Monastic Community in England, 1000-1259

Alyssa DeBlasio
Alyssa DeBlasio  |  Abstract
This project describes and evaluates the troubled state of philosophy in Russia in the post-Soviet decades, when Russia’s thinkers find themselves in transition between two incompatible definitions of philosophy: a nineteenth-century nationalist and religious view of Russian philosophy as essentially Russian, and a universal conception of philosophy as a profession without geographical or denominational allegiances. While the early 1990s saw the dramatic rise of philosophy publications in Russia, already by the mid-2000s that enthusiasm had given way to widespread pessimism regarding the state of the discipline, whereby Russia’s philosophers regularly denied the existence of Russian philosophy altogether. “The End of Russian Philosophy” argues that the Russian intellectual climate of the twenty-first century is identifiable by its preoccupation with the “end” of the nationalist narrative about Russian philosophy, as a new generation of scholars seeks to revive the discipline as a universal and professionalized practice.

Assistant Professor, Russian, Dickinson College  -  The End of Russian Philosophy: Philosophy and Religion at a Crossroads in the Twenty-first Century

Cynthia Radding
Cynthia Radding  |  Abstract
This project focuses on the ecological and cultural histories of northern Mexico and southwestern United States, integrating methods of analysis from the sciences and the humanities. It opens new directions for the study of imperial borderlands in the Americas and other world regions, combining methods and sources for environmental history and ethnohistory. The book addresses three main questions: (1) How did native peoples shape their environments and how did the molding of landscapes continue under colonial rule with new technologies, cultural values, and economies? (2) How did the formation of colonial territories change native kinship patterns and alliances? (3) How did indigenous cultural practices involving natural resources become scientific knowledge, and how did that knowledge enter European natural histories and medicinal manuals? This project integrates information culled from texts, maps, images, and documentary records to broaden the histories of both nature and society in the borderlands of early modern New Spain.

Professor, History, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill  -  Bountiful Deserts and Imperial Shadows. Seeds of Knowledge and Corridors of Migration in Northern New Spain

Michael Thomas Demson
Michael Thomas Demson  |  Abstract
Transatlantic Romanticism is defined by its critique of the economics of agricultural improvement. British, Irish, American, and French Romantics bore witness to, and were radicalized by, the horrors of the tumultuous 1790s, a decade in which improvement first became synonymous with nationalism and patriotism. Subsequent Romantics looked back with nostalgia to times before the lands were transformed by dispossessions and evictions, clear-cutting and scorching, and enclosures. This research explores the rise of the discourse of improvement, its early critique by authors around the Atlantic in the 1790s, and then focuses on three novels that critique improvement in various locations: Trollope’s first Irish novel, Hugo’s Haitian romance, and Cooper’s Last of the Mohicans.

Assistant Professor, English, Sam Houston State University  -  Blighted Corn: Radical Agrarian Romanticism

Isaac Ariail Reed
Isaac Ariail Reed  |  Abstract
This study elaborates a theoretical model of empire as a series of connections between principals, agents, and others, and articulates a historical link between imperial dynamics and characteristically modern institutions. Through an analysis of three cases in which sovereignty was disrupted at the periphery of empire—Bacon's Rebellion in Virginia (1676), the period between the Glorious Revolution and the new charter in Massachusetts (1689-1692), and resistance to the whiskey excise in Western Pennsylvania (1791-1794)—it examines the historical legacy of imperial responses to disruption. Taken together, the cases highlight cultural variations in how challenges to imperial sovereignty are expressed, and the institutional innovations that can occur when empires respond to such challenges.

Assistant Professor, Sociology, University of Colorado Boulder  -  Trouble at the Edge of Empire: Principals, Agents, and Others at the Origins of American Modernity

Yvonne Elet
Yvonne Elet  |  Abstract
This project conceptualizes stucco as a central element of visual culture in early modern Europe. Overturning views of stucco as a marginal, cheap fiction of marble, this study positions it as early modern new media: a protean, shape-shifting substance that enabled new forms. This modest lime-and-stone mixture was reconceptualized as a chic new material; used by painters, sculptors and architects, stucco defies conventional divisions of scholarship by medium, and it further functioned as a reflexive meta-material. The project spans the fifteenth through seventeenth centuries with a focus on Bramante and Raphael, whose brilliant technical and conceptual reformulation launched an international vogue, and introduced stucco into elite cultural discourse. Analyzing how this metamorphic material engaged ideas from natural philosophy, alchemy, and theology provides a new understanding of its formative role in early modern culture, and a model for understanding how art and technology developed in a dialectical relationship with science and philosophy.

Assistant Professor, Art History, Vassar College  -  Materiality and Metamorphosis: Stucco in the Architecture and Decoration of Early Modern Europe

Catherine Mary Robson
Catherine Mary Robson  |  Abstract
Between 1915 and 1918, members of a Royal Prussian Phonogramm Commission visited 70 prisoner-of-war camps in Germany to record imprisoned soldiers reading, reciting, singing, and playing musical instruments. Amassing samples of 250 languages and dialects, the commissioners made 1650 recordings, 821 of which are in English and feature working-class British voices. "Talking to the Enemy" tells the story of this remarkable episode in the Great War; it explores the project's informing contexts and operational details and imagines the thoughts and feelings of the individuals on either side of the microphone. It also reflects upon the historical significances of this instance of enforced Anglo-Germanic relations and the surprising survival and research potential of the Commission's materials.

Professor, English, New York University  -  Talking to the Enemy: Germany's Capture of British Voices in the Great War

Patience Epps
Patience Epps  |  Abstract
Lowland South America’s striking linguistic diversity presents a major puzzle to scholars of language and human prehistory. This project explores the role that sociocultural practices have played in generating and maintaining this diversity, and argues that linguistic differentiation across Amazonian groups is not so much a factor of isolation, but rather of interaction. Evidence includes the recurrence of multilingual regional ‘systems’ across the Amazon basin, characterized by similarly essentializing views linking language and identity, and accompanied by restrained lexical borrowing and code-switching on the one hand, but convergence in grammar and discourse on the other. These phenomena may be grounded in a widespread view that social identity depends on the active maintenance of contrasts, including those relating to language.

Associate Professor, Linguistics, University of Texas at Austin  -  Linguistic Diversity and the Amazonian Puzzle

Jason R. Rudy
Jason R. Rudy  |  Abstract
This study analyzes nineteenth-century British poetry written and published in colonial spaces: Australia, New Zealand, South Africa, and Canada. Both an examination of British settler culture and an effort to expand the bounds of what we consider British poetry, this project reads poems generally unknown to literary or historical scholarship. That colonial poetry has for the most part failed to make its way into modern anthologies of British literature has, first, skewed our understanding of the larger constellation of Victorian poetry and, second, kept from our attention an archive of materials that help make better sense of nineteenth-century emigrant and colonial experiences, including the eventual emergence of new national identities in colonial spaces.

Associate Professor, English, University of Maryland, College Park  -  Nostalgia at Sea: Remembering British Poetry in the Colonies

Heather Ferguson
Heather Ferguson  |  Abstract
This project bridges the gap between the history of ideas and the history of practice in approaches to the early modern Ottoman Empire and juxtaposes documentary genres traditionally read in isolation or without regard for narrative style. It argues that repetitive cycles of Ottoman imperial correspondence contain more than the minimal details of provincial history; rather, they rely on rhetorical strategies and formula that normalize interactions between state and non-state actors even when addressed to rebels and bandits. The residues of these interactions reveal a unique rubric of rule shaped through law books, imperial correspondence, petitions, and diagnostic treatises that define the character of Ottoman authority and suggest a new arc for imperial history.

Assistant Professor, History, Claremont McKenna College  -  The Proper Order of Things: Language, Power, and Law in Ottoman Administrative Discourses

Teemu H. Ruskola
Teemu H. Ruskola  |  Abstract
There is no sustained historical and analytic treatment of China’s place in the making of modern international law. In broad outline conventional scholarship represents the modern Sino-Western encounter as a tragic cultural “misunderstanding” by China of such core Western values as sovereign equality and free trade among states. This project instead examines the encounter as a meeting between two different imperial formations, both of which classified states and peoples according to civilizational criteria, albeit with distinctive discursive justifications--Confucian and liberal. More broadly, it analyzes Western international law as an epistemological and cultural project the goal of which has been to turn the entire planet into a juridical formation consisting of nation-states.

supported in part by the Munro Fund for Chinese Thought
Professor, Law, Emory University  -  China, For Example: China and the Making of Modern International Law

Caitlin A. Fitz
Caitlin A. Fitz  |  Abstract
This project shows how the Latin American independence movements of the 1810s and 1820s shaped the United States. Based on archival research in Spanish, Portuguese, French, and English, as well as on extensive and systematic work in digitized collections, the project reveals the wave of inter-American revolutionary fervor that engulfed the early United States. It shows that US observers were so emotionally invested in events to the south that Latin America came to serve as a critical conceptual framework through which people all over the country understood republicanism, revolution, and race—and thus America itself.

Assistant Professor, History, Northwestern University  -  Our Sister Republics: The United States in an Age of American Revolutions

Karen J. Sanchez-Eppler
Karen J. Sanchez-Eppler  |  Abstract
Childhood studies adds age to the triad—gender, race, and class—that organize so much humanities scholarship. “In the Archives of Childhood” asks how this addition matters for the study of history. Childhood is, after all, the past each adult recollects. The ties between archival preservation, library and museum collections, print culture, memory, and the personal past that is childhood, illuminate not only the new field of childhood studies, but also the many disciplines and institutions that strive to access, understand, and recall a time that is gone. In a series of child-centered case studies from the nineteenth-century United States, from the marginalia child readers left in Robinson Crusoe, or the “museum” Leland Stanford Jr. arranged in his family’s attic, to reports of slave-childhood in WPA interviews, and the records of the Chicago Nursery and Half Orphan Asylum, this project queries childhood’s effect on the practices that preserve the past.

Professor, American Studies and English, Amherst College  -  In the Archives of Childhood: Personal and Historical Pasts

Stephanie J. Fitzgerald
Stephanie J. Fitzgerald  |  Abstract
This project explores the formation and rise of contemporary Native American poetry during its most crucial early moments, the years between 1968-1984, using the material form of the poetry chapbook as its site of interrogation. The creation, production, and dissemination of these chapbooks, many of them published by Native-run small alternative presses during the Red Power years, led to new publishing opportunities for Native poets. The chapbooks became an assertion of Native identity in a time when non-Native editors and compilers were attempting to define and control "Native-ness."

Assistant Professor, English, University of Kansas  -  Red Letters: Print Culture, Alternative Presses, and the Rise of Contemporary Native American Poetry, 1968-1984

Anat Schechtman
Anat Schechtman  |  Abstract
Contemporary mathematics and philosophy are dominated by a quantitative conception of infinity, which regards infinity as a number or magnitude. In contrast, prominent thinkers in the seventeenth century held a qualitative conception of infinity as linked to the non-quantitative notions of perfection or reality. This project is the first book-length study of this important, yet relatively unfamiliar, conception of infinity in modern thought. Its main aim is to provide a systematic treatment of this conception through an examination of works by Descartes, Spinoza, and Leibniz. A further aim is to indicate the significance of this conception for contemporary philosophy, which by and large subscribes to the post-Cantorian paradigm of conceptualizing infinity within the parameters of set theory.

Assistant Professor, Philosophy, University of Chicago  -  Infinity in Modern Thought

Daniela Flesler
Daniela Flesler  |  Abstract
This project studies the long-ranging implications of the current “re-discovery” of Spain’s Jewish past. Since the mid 1980s, many cultural and political initiatives have engaged with the memory of Jewish Spain. Today, all things “Sepharad” – the mythical name given by Spanish Jews to the Iberian Peninsula – are widely marketed throughout Spain, from historical novels, travel guides, music and cookbooks, to recently excavated and restored medieval synagogues and Jewish quarters. The wide public circulation of new narratives that are putting Spanish Jews at their center are producing profound transformations in the way Spaniards see themselves. The project explores the ways in which this recent memory of Sepharad has allowed Spaniards to rethink long-established notions of national, regional, local, and personal identities.

Associate Professor, Hispanic Languages and Literature, State University of New York, Stony Brook  -  The Memory Work of Sepharad: New Inheritances for Twenty-first Century Spain

Anna C. Schultz
Anna C. Schultz  |  Abstract
This research on Bene Israel (Marathi Jewish) devotional music from the nineteenth through twenty-first centuries explores dialogue between the Bene Israel and other social groups and articulates new ways for thinking about cultural translation in musical contexts. The first half of the project is on Bene Israel kirtans (devotional songs with storytelling) performed in the decades immediately following the founding of the first Jewish kirtan organization in 1880, and attempts to address how and why this Hindu temple genre was translated for Jewish purposes. The second half of the project considers the re-gendering of kirtan and other Marathi Jewish song forms during their revival in late 20th-century Bombay and Israel.

Assistant Professor, Music, Stanford University  -  Performing Translation: Indian Jewish Devotional Song and Minority Identity on the Move

Devin Fore
Devin Fore  |  Abstract
Through an interdisciplinary analysis of diverse visual objects and literary texts, this project provides the first sustained analysis of the documentary movement known as “factography,” as it was called in the Soviet Union in the 1920s. In linking this impulse to documentary forms that emerged contemporaneously in other countries, the project establishes factography as one of the major avant-gardes of the interwar period. Beyond this historical reconstruction, it also shows how the factographers’ inventive response to the process of modernization revises some of our most basic assumptions about the evolution of our own media culture.

Associate Professor, German, Princeton University  -  All the Graphs: Soviet Factography and the Emergence of Avant-Garde Documentary

Marcy E. Schwartz
Marcy E. Schwartz  |  Abstract
“Public Pages” studies reading programs in Latin American cities that redefine civic cultural engagement and rely on urban infrastructure. The project examines programs since 2000 in Argentina, Colombia, Brazil, Mexico and Chile. Public reading initiatives invest in reading for social and literary value, use public space, distribute books to a mass public in unconventional areas, and encourage collective reading. To enrich human interactions in public space several cities distribute free books on public transit. Cartonera publishers bind books in reused cardboard to create inexpensive editions. Postdictatorship libraries of banned books offer public access in spaces of commemoration. Reading in Latin American urban public space responds to the wake of neoliberal economic policies and political violence to rebuild sociability and citizenship.

Associate Professor, Spanish and Portuguese, Rutgers University-New Brunswick  -  Public Pages: Reading and Community along the Latin American Streetscape

Severin Fowles
Severin Fowles  |  Abstract
Recent revisionist histories of the American West have proposed that the Comanches were architects of an ambitious imperial project that emerged at the start of the eighteenth century and eventually grew to dominate the economic and political lives of communities—both Native American and European—across a tremendous swath of North America. This book project examines that history of indigenous imperialism in one of the key areas of Comanche expansion: the Rio Grande valley of colonial New Mexico. Whereas previous studies have entirely relied on textual archives authored by the Comanches' opponents, this study draws upon new archaeological discoveries to tell the tale of the tribe's aggressive push into the region using the material archives the Comanches themselves left behind.

Assistant Professor, Anthropology, Barnard College  -  Comanche New Mexico: An Archaeology

Jenni Sorkin
Jenni Sorkin  |  Abstract
Ceramics has been overlooked within the history of modern American art. Yet it is a medium in which women artists pioneered a hands-on, participatory teaching style, summer workshops, and therapeutic practices for returning war veterans. Through a series of three case studies focused on women potters, “Live Form,” examines the gendered legacy of craft pedagogy as it turned outward from an object-only orientation toward an embrace of community engagement, personal enrichment, and social participation during the post-war era.

Assistant Professor, History of Art and Architecture, University of California, Santa Barbara  -  Live Form: Women, Ceramics, and Community, 1945-1975

Brenna W. Greer
Brenna W. Greer  |  Abstract
“Image Rights” locates the representation politics and products African Americans deployed to secure their rights after World War II within a culture characterized by expanding consumerism and visual media. Analyzing pop culture texts, government propaganda, personal papers, organizational records, and oral interviews with key participants, this work argues that black activists' and entrepreneurs' interests intersected in the project of re-presenting blackness in manners that altered civil rights politics. Producing images that claimed to define black America, African American cultural producers, capitalists, and activists not only advanced civil rights agendas, but also profoundly shaped theories and practices central to the market segmentation characterizing postwar American capitalism and politics. This project, then, breaks down narrative boundaries isolating "the struggle" from market dynamics, prompts reconsideration of what constitutes civil rights work, and illuminates why the civil rights movement took the form it did, both on the ground and in historical memory.

Assistant Professor, History, Wellesley College  -  Image Rights: Black Representation Politics and Civil Rights Work in the Postwar United States

Carol A. Stabile
Carol A. Stabile  |  Abstract
Based on archival research on women working in television in the late 1940s and early 1950s, this project examines the forms of employment progressive women were seeking in the new industry, as well as the opposition they faced from anti-communist men and women opposed to viewpoints they considered un-American. Combining standpoint epistemology with archival methods, the book analyzes unpublished archival materials, published works, and copious secondary sources – print media articles, blacklisting publications, FBI records, and transcripts of the House Un-American Activities Committee’s hearings -- in order to document the roles these women had hoped to play in the new industry as well as the content they dreamed of contributing to a medium they recognized would play a central role in US culture in the second half of the twentieth century.

Professor, Journalism and Communication, University of Oregon  -  Pink Channels: Women and the Broadcast Blacklist

Tobias B. Gregory
Tobias B. Gregory  |  Abstract
This project provides a new understanding of Milton on liberty, a leading theme in his poetry and prose. It argues that Milton’s writings about liberty should be understood rhetorically rather than systematically: Milton did not produce a theory of liberty, but employed the rhetoric of liberty to particular ends. The project analyzes and describes those ends, drawing on scholarship in early modern history, religion, and political thought as well as literature. In doing so, the project reevaluates the place of politics in Milton’s poetry, tracks continuity and change over the course of his career, and aims to discern amongst his shifting concerns which ones touched him most deeply. Milton emerges in this study as an eloquent propagandist for unpopular positions, and as a poet who, in his late masterpieces, arrived at a broader perspective on the Puritan revolution he had supported without disavowing that lost cause.

Associate Professor, English, Catholic University of America  -  Milton's Strenuous Liberty

Holly Watkins
Holly Watkins  |  Abstract
“Echoes of the Nonhuman” interprets key contributions to the history of Western musical aesthetics as sources of reflection on humanity’s relation to the nonhuman. Not only has music long been felt to appeal to regions of the self that elude the sovereign control of the mind, but it also has appeared at times to issue from an altogether nonhuman realm. The book illuminates both the elation attending music’s capacity to put listeners in contact with a world beyond human subjectivity and the anxiety concerning music’s power to empty the mind and invite animal or even vegetal impulses into its place. This work challenges entrenched divisions between the humanities and the sciences by placing the aesthetic tradition in dialogue with the latest research in biomusicology.

Associate Professor, Musicology, University of Rochester  -  Echoes of the Nonhuman: Organicism, Biology, and Musical Aesthetics from the Enlightenment to the Present

Lillian Guerra
Lillian Guerra  |  Abstract
This project addresses a gap in scholarly and public understandings of the origins of Cuban social and political radicalism by exploring the pivotal period between 1946 and 1959 when a consensus on the need for anti-imperialist revolution reached its peak. It analyzes the social policies of the state before and during the Batista dictatorship as well as the role of messianic discourse in shaping public support for a radical program of dramatic socio-economic change. Based on previously unknown archival collections and oral history, this book reveals that the civilian-led struggle was far more responsible for Batista's fall than Fidel Castro's guerrillas; the opposition movement's success hinged more on morally defeating Batista in the public's mind than on defeating the state militarily.

Professor, History, University of Florida  -  Making Revolutionary Cuba, 1946-1959

John Watkins
John Watkins  |  Abstract
This project investigates the centrality of interdynastic marriage in European peacemaking from the late Middle Ages to the end of the seventeenth century. It first examines the literary and religious culture that turned marriage into a possible means of allaying violence. It then assesses the international society such marriages created in terms of shared values, beliefs, aesthetics, and cultural practices. Chapters on medieval chronicles and romances; Renaissance pastoral; Shakespeare, Racine and Corneille; and the first European novels address the roles interdynastic marriages created for women as brides, negotiators, and bearers of their families’ aggression. Later chapters examine the marriage system's erosion in the wake of nationalist suspicions of foreign alliances.

Professor, English, University of Minnesota, Twin Cities  -  Premodern Marriage Diplomacy: A Cultural History

Faith C. Hillis
Faith C. Hillis  |  Abstract
Over the course of the nineteenth century, hundreds of thousands of tsarist subjects left the Russian empire and resettled in the major urban centers and university towns of western and central Europe, forming internally diverse yet close-knit communities that they called “Russian colonies.” The first synthetic treatment of westward traffic from the Russian empire before 1917, this project explores the internal dynamics of Europe’s Russian colonies as well as their interactions with the outside world. Contending that these unique communities served as incubators for new political ideas, cultural practices, and subjectivities that eventually made their way back to Russia proper, this project also argues that the colonies shaped in consequential ways the host societies in which they were located.

Assistant Professor, History, University of Chicago  -  Europe’s Russian Colonies: Community, Politics, and Modernity Across Borders

Judith Weisenfeld
Judith Weisenfeld  |  Abstract
This book explores the intersections of religion and racial identity among people of African descent in the early twentieth century urban North. Focusing on the Moorish Science Temple, Father Divine's Peace Mission Movement, congregations of Ethiopian Hebrews, and the Nation of Islam, all of which emerged in the context of urbanization, migration, and immigration, the project charts how members promoted alternative understandings of black racial identity and sacred destiny to the dominant narratives provided by mainstream black Protestant churches and in broader American society. In addition, the project examines how these new religio-racial identities shaped members’ conceptions of their bodies, families, communities, and political sensibilities. Rather than operating at the margins of public and community culture, their religious work to contest conventional racial categorization, both discursively and in embodied practice, was part of a broader set of discussions in black America at the time about the nature of racial identity.

Professor, Religion, Princeton University  -  Apostles of Race: Religion and Black Racial Identity in the Urban North, 1920-1950

Francine R. Hirsch
Francine R. Hirsch  |  Abstract
This project offers a major retelling of the Nuremberg story, drawing on newly declassified archival sources to bring in the perspective and contributions of the USSR. It presents Nuremberg as an important site of postwar cooperation for the wartime allies—and also as the battleground for a political and ideological struggle among those same states about the meaning of the Second World War and about the shape of the postwar order. It argues that the Soviets significantly shaped the legal framework of International Military Tribunal and the postwar vision of international law. But it also shows how the Soviets were greatly hampered on the international stage by the particularities of the Stalinist system (and by their own expectations of a show trial)—and how they ultimately lost the victory to the Western powers.

Associate Professor, History, University of Wisconsin-Madison  -  Soviet Judgment at Nuremberg: A Cold War Story

Kirsten Weld
Kirsten Weld  |  Abstract
This book project explores the lasting impact of Spain's iconic 1936-1939 civil war, and its aftermath, on Spain's former colonies in the Americas. By examining the long-term influence of Spanish-inspired political currents, Latin Americans’ engagement with Iberian revolutionary and reactionary projects, Spanish diasporas of varying sympathies in the Americas, and the historical memory of the conflict on both sides of the Atlantic, the book reinterprets the unfolding of Latin America’s Cold War.

Assistant Professor, History, Harvard University  -  The Long Spanish Civil War in Latin America

Gene Andrew Jarrett
Gene Andrew Jarrett  |  Abstract
Paul Laurence Dunbar (1872-1906) was the first African American author born after slavery to become an international phenomenon. By the time he passed away, his career as a prodigious writer of poetry, fiction, drama, and essays had suggested that he negotiated a personal crisis. His loyalties were torn between demonstrating his commitment to racial-political progress and writing what prominent literary critics and publishers expected of him and fellow African American writers. This project provides deep biographical insight into the examples and limits of this crisis in Dunbar’s literature, life, and times. The story begins with how Paul's parents escaped Kentucky slavery, survived the Civil War, and settled in Dayton, Ohio; how their turbulent marriage and divorce fatefully scarred his relationship to loved ones; and, early on in his life, how his artistic and intellectual embrace of literature oriented his cultural and political understanding of the world.

Professor, English, Boston University  -  Paul Laurence Dunbar: The First African American Poet Laureate

Emily E. Wilcox
Emily E. Wilcox  |  Abstract
Since the beginning of the twentieth century, the central problem of Chinese cultural modernity has been how to reconcile becoming modern with remaining Chinese. This project examines that problem in the making of modern Chinese dance, a movement that, the study argues, reflects modern China’s position at the intersection of socialism and postcoloniality. By showing how modern Chinese dance performs ethnic, national, and cultural identity from the 1930s to the early twenty-first century, the study places Chinese dance in the transnational contexts of socialist culture and decolonization. Based on ethnographic field research combined with performance analysis and historical documentary research, this project offers the first comprehensive English-language study of dance in the People's Republic of China. It asks: How can we understand Chinese dance as “national movement," in both the sense of art that contributes to nation-building and as a set of physical movements that give form to national culture?

Assistant Professor, Asian Languages and Cultures, University of Michigan-Ann Arbor  -  National Movements: Socialist Postcoloniality and the Making of Chinese Dance

James H. Johnson
James H. Johnson  |  Abstract
"Means of Concealment: French Identity and the Self" completes a two-volume study on the meaning of masks in modern and early modern Europe. Like its predecessor, "Venice Incognito: Masks in the Serene Republic" (2011), it considers how individuals have viewed their identity by understanding why they have hidden it. It traces masking in France, physical and figurative, from the early seventeenth century through the first decades of the twentieth. Its subjects include the codified dissembling of courtly "politesse" and those who extolled, anatomized, or denounced it; the adopted clothes and manners of young men from the provinces seeking their fortune in Paris; and the pervasive figure of the mask in fin-de-siècle novels, plays, and paintings as an emblem of hypocrisy, delusion, or madness. Together these two books chart evolving ideas of the self and the rise of modern individualism through modes of concealment and its penetration.

Professor, History, Boston University  -  Masks and Modern Consciousness